Investors Interested in Fossil Fuel-Free Portfolios

Joanna Schroeder

According to a recent survey conducted by SRI, 65 percent of retail investors and 53 percent of institutional investors are currently expressing interest in fossil fuel-free portfolios in reaction to climate change. More than 2,000 SRI industry professionals took the First Affirmative Financial Network’s Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey in anticipation of the 24th annual SRI Conference taking place October 28-30 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Other key survey findings include:

  • 77 percent see growing risks for investors associated with fossil fuel company holdings in their investment portfolios.
  • 30 percent of those surveyed either already do – or are getting ready to – offer fossil-fuel free portfolios to investors.
  • 63 percent believe that investors will in the next 10 years start divesting in meaningful numbers from fossil-fuel companies due to climate change implications of such energy sources.

SRI Conference Logo“The survey findings strongly suggest that fossil fuel free investing is one of the SRI industry’s next big issues. Ours is an incredibly dynamic field, and as we develop the agenda for the 24th annual SRI Conference in October, we are working hard to present speakers and sessions focused on the most timely, important, and pressing topics,” said First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference. “Fossil fuel free investing is already becoming a nationwide movement, and it’s likely to gain momentum as the impacts of climate destabilization are felt far and wide.”

Sixty-seven percent of respondents believe that 2013 is the right time for investors to assess and perhaps alter their approach to investing in traditional energy companies, while 40 percent of those surveyed worry about increased diversification risk in fossil fuel free portfolios, in their role as a fiduciary to clients. In addition, 24 percent of those surveyed said they would be able to adequately replace the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel companies in portfolios they managed/advised with holdings that exhibit similar risk/return characteristics.

Carbon Dioxide, Clean Energy, Climate Change